"To God Be The Glory" is a common phrase I see in many places, but when I type it on Word, it suggests it to be "To God Is The Glory". Is "be" in the phrase grammatically incorrect?

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    I think most native speakers would agree that all grammar checkers are not perfect. (I don't personally use Word.) You phrase also seems to have been appeared since 1872 in a lyric, so I believe that this is perhaps not a typical usage in modern English. – Damkerng T. Dec 29 '13 at 15:14

In this context, I think be is the preferable word over is.

The phrase means, essentially, "May all the glory be ascribed to God."

One could use is and still be grammatically correct – as in, "All the glory is ascribed to God" – however, humankind seems to have trouble doing that on a consistent basis. That's why we usually say the former (which expresses a hope for a desired state) rather than the latter (which expresses a seldom-observed statement of fact).

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  • This reminds me of the phrase "God Save the Queen". You answer help me to understand the phrase as (May) God Save the Queen. – Damkerng T. Dec 29 '13 at 15:42
  • And to me this reminds of one of the greatest poems in English, "Pied Beauty" by Gerard Manley Hopkins. Glory be to God for dappled things.. – CowperKettle Dec 29 '13 at 16:32
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    May there be peace. We use similar construction in a prayer and such use is often referred to as the subjunctive mood. – JayHook Dec 29 '13 at 17:08

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